Opening the gate and walking up the long driveway to my residency was such a brilliant feeling. All the mundane details and to-do lists of everyday life stayed behind and the space for imagining took over. I’m currently in between projects, so for me the residency was a chance to regenerate and play with new ideas. I found it brilliant for this: the quiet room with the breeze blowing through the window, the little wanders around the grass, the sense of history, the panorama over the city, and the small details like the St Andrews cross spiders in plenitude near the southern walls. As a hands-on parent it’s not possible for me to go away on residencies and, as a Novocastrian, the ability to come for one day a week for six weeks was special. It’s early days as to what will come from this time, but I’m so grateful for the opportunity to have it.